Most likely King Arthur candidates

Who was King Arthur?

  • A Roman officer

    Votes: 2 16.7%
  • Riothamus

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Athrwys ap Meurig (of Glamorgan)

    Votes: 1 8.3%
  • Arthwys ap Mar (of Elmet)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • An otherwise unidentified Romano-British king or war leader

    Votes: 3 25.0%
  • Lucius Artorius Castus

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Owain Danwyn

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Cuneglasus

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Ambrosius Aurelianus

    Votes: 5 41.7%
  • Arthur ap Pedr (of Dyfed)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Artuir mac Aedan (of Scotland)

    Votes: 1 8.3%

  • Total voters
    12
Sep 2015
319
ireland
#21
A similar argument often made is that since Vortigern means high lord it must have been a title and not a name.

I never heard of the nickname of "the Twister" for Aethelfrith. I have always read his nickname, when given, to be "the Destroyer". And here is a site mentioning Aethelfrith the Destroyer: Aethelfrith | king of Bernicia and Deira

The name of Maglocunus is not only known from literary sources. Frank D. Reno in The historic King Arthur or Arthurian Figures of History and Legend mentions the name of Maglocunus in an inscribed stone in a Welsh church, and there is another inscribed stone about a man described as a citizen of Gwynedd and cousin of Maglos the Magistrate, Maglos being considered a version of Maglocunus.
The name Vortigurn appears on Ogham stones in Ireland. I think there are two examples. Off the top of my head there is one in Waterford and one in Kerry. There was also a bishop called Fortichern ( a Gaelic rendering of Vortigern) associated with Trim in Co. Meath who was said to be a disciple of Patrick.

The Maglocunas stone is in Nevern in Pembrokeshire and it is also carved in Ogham which would suggest he had an Irish heritage.
 
Jan 2015
875
England
#22
The Maglocunas stone is in Nevern in Pembrokeshire and it is also carved in Ogham which would suggest he had an Irish heritage.
Not necessarily at all, it likely just indicates that the stone was inscribed for a bi-lingual people. We know that Dyfed was extensively inhabited by the Irish by that time (even if the ruling class had been deposed).
 
Sep 2015
319
ireland
#23
Not necessarily at all, it likely just indicates that the stone was inscribed for a bi-lingual people. We know that Dyfed was extensively inhabited by the Irish by that time (even if the ruling class had been deposed).
It depends on which languages you think the locals were speaking in the 5th century and what the origins of the ruling class were. I`m not aware of any evidence of Brythonic in the early Ogham found in Wales or Cornwall. I would argue that the reason for this is that the ruling class were Irish ( or at least some form of a marriage of the first of the Irish and the last of the Romans) and spoke a primitive form of Gaelic as well as Latin until at least the 6th century. Uortipors memorial is also carved with Ogham. The Dyfed Maglocunus must have been a member of an important family and his father was Clutori. It`s likely that he is the Clotri recorded in the Harleian Dyfed list who appears four generations before Uortipor.
 
Jan 2014
2,520
Westmorland
#24
I know there are varying translations of early Welsh poetry and it is a difficult subject. I`m aware that some translations say that Owain killed Flamdwyn. Skene however has it the other way round in the Death Song of Owain. Also even though Owain comes out fighting at Argoed Lwyfain when Flamdwyn calls for hostages, there is no other indication that he killed Flamdwyn there. It`s amazing really how an alternative translation of a few words or a phrase can change the entire context of a poem. What`s your own interpretation of the meaning of Argoed Lwyfain Peter? The Wiki essay about Theodric translates it as the Battle of Leeming Lane, something I`ve never come across before.
Skene's translation goes back to the 19th century, before the pioneering work on Old and Archaic Welsh philology carried out by the likes of Ifor Williams and Kenneth Jackson. Notwithstanding that Skene's work is readily available online (it's out of copyright, which helps!), all recent translations have it as Owain killing Flamddwyn. The best translation for anyone on a budget is Thomas Clancy's The Triumph Tree, although there's no commentary. Marged Haycock is currently working on a full length analysis of the historic poems from the Book of Taliesin which I assume will go alongside her earlier, heavyweight work on the legendary poems. She is a very kind lady and at a conference I attended, handed out her working translations of the Urien poems. These have some claim to be the last word on the matter so far as our current understanding of Old and Archaic Welsh philology is concerned and they undoubtedly have it that Owain killed Fflamddwyn, not the other way round.

Insofar as Argoed Llwyfein is concerned, I agree that it never says that Fflamddwyn is killed, but it is quite explicit that the killing of Fflamddwyn is what Urien has in mind and given that the battle appears to be a victory for Urien, we are left to conclude he succeeded in that. Interestingly, Marwnad Owain (the Death Song) is likely to be much later than the other poems, so it isn't really that useful as corroborating evidence for what happened at the battle itself.

The location of the battle is far from certain, but Leeming Lane has indeed been proposed in the past. As you probably know, Leeming Lane is the name of a length of the Roman road which is now mostly overlain by the A1. Leeming Lane is now a minor road, just to the east of the A1 a few miles south of Catterick, close to the major Roman road junction at what is now Scotch Corner. Leeming Bar and RAF Leeming attest to the ongoing use of the name in that area. It appears to be the case that earlier scholars, who were seeking to place Urien in Catterick on the strength of the two references to him exercising authority over Catreath, saw Leeming Lane and thought it a fit for Llwyvenydd, another territory assigned to Urien. I can't see how Llwyvenydd could readily become Leeming and think the identification is a bit of a tail-chaser. Most scholars who dare to comment on such matters draw attention to the Lyvennet valley in Cumbria. Lyvennet is the form one might expect to see from an original Llwyvenydd. The 'ydd' bit means 'land of', so the name means either 'land of Llwyfen' or, if the first element is not a proper name 'land of the elm country'. Argoed Llwyfein means either 'by the wood of Llwyfen' or 'by the wood of the elm country.' I tend, therefore, to cautiously agree that the battle took place in Cumbria, not North Yorkshire, although one always has to bear in mind that although Lyvennet is the only modern place which is a good fit, other places which once had the same name may now be lost to us.
 
Likes: concan
Jan 2014
2,520
Westmorland
#25
I never heard of the nickname of "the Twister" for Aethelfrith. I have always read his nickname, when given, to be "the Destroyer". And here is a site mentioning Aethelfrith the Destroyer: Aethelfrith | king of Bernicia and Deira.
It's far from a perfect science, but 'twister (as in 'deceitful one' rather than 'destructive wind') appears to be a reasonably close translation of Aethelfrith's Welsh nickname 'flesaurs' as given in the Historia Brittonum. His reputation as a destroyer possibly comes largely from Bede's excitable portrayal of him an an unwitting tool of God's vengance aginst the sinful Britons.
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
26,220
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#26
About Gildas, we had occasion to discuss that passage on Historum. This is a modern version of the "De excidio". Gildas De excidio Britanniae : Ad fidem codicum manuscriptorum recensuit Josephus Stevenson : Gildas, 516?-570? : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

On the right you can read the well known mention of Ambrosius. Frankly speaking the most obvious and simple interpretation should be preferred here: there is nothing to interprete. We see Ambrosius organizing and leading the "resistence" [we could say this] against the invaders and then there is a decisive battle. No temporal jumps and no other great personages introduced in the meanwhile ... to put Ambrosius at "Badonici montis" is quite natural.

I know that rational reasonings and sophisms of different kinds can complicate the matter cultivating doubts. And we cannot exclude them. Anyway there is a clear possibility that at Badon there was Ambrosius.
 
Nov 2008
1,362
England
#27
I never heard of the nickname of "the Twister" for Aethelfrith. I have always read his nickname, when given, to be "the Destroyer". And here is a site mentioning Aethelfrith the Destroyer: Aethelfrith | king of Bernicia and Deira
Had Aethelfrith known about the Britons calling him "twister", meaning "deceiver", he may have taken it as a compliment. He was a heathen, a devotee of Woden, who was known as the "masked one". Early Anglo-Saxons highly rated cunning as an good attribute. We see this with the story about Hengest and the" night of the long knives", which may have been an apocryphal tale, but none-the-less a tale they would have enjoyed listening to.